ESPN Brasil features today an interview with Manchester City fullback Yan Couto, who’s loaned to Spanish side Girona until the end of the season.
The 18-year-old was signed by the Premier League side on a €6m move from Coritiba this summer, and there was actually a big race for his transfer.
Following his performances for Brazil in the U-17 World Cup, several European giants started chasing him, and now he reveals what convinced him to join Manchester City.
“The World Cup was over and big clubs came after me, Barcelona, Bayern and City. First hand, Barcelona, I had made my choice”, Yan Couto told ESPN Brasil.
“Bayern had language difficulties. And City had made a proposal to be loaned, I didn’t like it very much. Barcelona said it was for the first team, so I agreed with Barcelona. And when I was about to close with Barcelona, City came up with another proposal, said that I would go up to the first team and be coached by Guardiola. This was something that impressed me a lot, so I was very happy and decided with my family to go to City.”
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Yan Couto wasn’t able to join Manchester City’s first team, and that’s the reason why he had to go to Spain anyway.
“Because of Covid I was unable to make the pre-season with City and those international trips that there are. And then they decided to loan me to Girona. The pandemic brought had a lot of problems. We will see. I’m at Girona, doing a good season here to see how it goes next year.”
Still, the player ended up managing going to Manchester to at least sign his contract with City. That’s where he met Pep Guardiola.
“I went to Manchester to sign the contract and I had a conversation there at the club. He welcomed me, and as I had already chosen City, he knew about the other clubs, he was very happy. He said that I’m a great promise and that I have to work hard, that I will be with him soon, and that was a great choice.”
“He basically welcomed me and said that my English had to be better than Gabriel Jesus’ when he arrived. Gabriel was next to us (laughs). So he’s a very funny guy and it was a very memorable moment too.”
He’s also talked about the meeting with Manchester City’s Brazilian players, and showed some special friendship with Fernandinho, who seems to be having a big part in helping him in this arrival at the club.
“I stayed there for a week. I was able to have a coffee with the Brazilians at the club, I also had a dinner with Fernandinho, who invited me. So their reception was really cool, they get along really well. They are great players and great people too. The conversation with them was good.”
“Fernandinho, to tell you the truth, is a friend of mine, we always exchange messages on WhatsApp. So he’s a guy who’s an example. My whole family liked him very much. I will not be lucky enough to play with him, he will leave this year. But this reception in a new club was really good for me. So I think it’s very important to have players of this level, and you can see that he’s a great player for that, on and off the pitch he’s special.”